AK-47 Machine Gun Maker Kalashnikov Developed a Rideable Drone

Russian company Kalashnikov Concern has developed a rideable, 8-rotor drone, similar in its design and ambition to the 'Sky-Hopper.'

Kalashnikov / CGTN

The name "Kalashnikov" immediately brings to mind an image of that all-too-famous Soviet machine gun, the AK-47. Well, at least it does to those of us who grew up playing video games or watched Rocky 3 a few too many times. While the company’s claim to fame is still what we associate most with it, Kalashnikov Concern, as it is now called, has developed something far more exciting: a rideable drone. 

According to The Verge, Kalashnikov Concern is calling its manned aerial vehicle a "flying car," and by all accounts, it seems like it could fulfill all the requirements that such a title would demand. However, as we’ve reported on a few of these rideable drones in the past, such as the Sky-Hopper or the Kitty Hawk Flyer, these demonstrations, no matter how successful, are usually a bit of a letdown. Yes, the drone is rideable, and it really does seem to work. But these demos usually feel more like concept cars—things you never actually get to touch or use in everyday life—than an item waiting for your purchase.

Let’s take a look at this thing before we delve into its design and future prospects.

As you can see, the drone is equipped with eight rotors, veiled and protected by an outer frame. The pilot uses two joysticks to steer the vehicle, which seems to be battery-powered. Unfortunately, that’s most of the available information we have on Kalashnikov’s "flying car" drone right now. 

Of course, we can speculate and wonder what the company is planning to do with this model in the future. Are they moving confidently into the drone industry, boldly and head-first with the idea of producing and selling flying cars to their consumers? Or is this simply a proof-of-concept, something to entice investors with, to put their name in the papers? 

Of course, it could also be that a few engineers had enough time on their hands to build this thing themselves, which the company may have noticed and decided to run with. It’s all very unclear at this juncture, but one thing is for sure: It’s always exciting to see somebody actually ride a drone.